You sent out your cover letter and resume; then you wait. Finally you receive a phone call or an email saying the company you applied for wants to interview you! Congratulations!
Not all interviews are face-to-face and sometimes you have to be able to charm your way to a job offer or a second interview without ever meeting the person. Nervous? Don’t be, because we have some great tips on how to rock that phone or Skype interview!
Phone interviews can be a little intimidating. It will be hard to read the interviewer’s feedback without seeing facial expressions and body language. You may feel like it’s hard to show your personality, but don’t worry, you also have some advantages at your disposal as well.
1. Find a quiet place with a desk to conduct the interview. The desk space allows you to have all of the materials you will need spread out right in front you to reference. And make sure it’s quiet so you won’t be disturbed. Live with roommates? Tell them you have an interview so they can turn down their music – put a sign on the door to remind them.
2. Have access to a computer. This is a huge advantage for you. Pull up the company’s website to reference. Don’t use a phone interview as an excuse not to do your research! You still need to research the company, see what they’ve been doing in the media, who their clients are, etc. The computer access is there for you to reference if you forget something. Make sure you mute all other sounds that could disturb you.
3. Charge your phone! You don’t want the battery to die mid-interview.
4. Have a glass of water nearby in case your voice starts to crack and make sure you use the bathroom BEFORE the interview.
5. Print out a copy of your cover letter, resume, and the job description. Also, have a notepad available to take notes.
6. Speak up! If you can’t hear the interviewer or need them to repeat a question – ask them in a polite and professional manner!
7. Smile. Trust me, people can hear a smile! Even though they won’t be able to see you, you still need to put on the show. This includes dressing up too! Don’t wear your pajamas. You will be more likely to act and talk professionally if you have on your work clothes rather than the clothes you just woke up in.
8. Lastly, phone interviews will be shorter than face-to-face interviews. It’s their way of quickly weeding out people who won’t fit the criteria, so stay focused on your skills and what you can offer the company. Ask questions, and thank them for taking time out of their day to interview you. Phone interviews should be treated just as important as a regular interview, so don’t forget to send a thank you note and follow up.
Technology is great! Skype allows you to have a simulated in-person interview without really being in the company’s office. You still need to prepare like you would for a face-to-face interview. Reference the phone interview tips above.
1. Prepare, prepare, PREPARE for technical difficulties! Do a practice run and make sure your Internet connection is fast enough. Just in case something were to go wrong, have a phone handy for a backup plan.
2. Set up the interview in a clean, professional setting. Clear away trash, embarrassing pictures or your favorite stuffed animal from your background.
3. Keep all other programs on your computer/cell phone off and muted!
4. Look at the camera, not their picture. To them, it looks like you are looking down rather than at them. Eye contact is still important!
5. First impressions are key! Before your face even shows up on their screen the first thing they will notice is your screen name. Avoid using your ‘beerlover101’ screen name and pick something that’s more professional.
Now that you are armed with your phone/Skype interviewing tips you’ll be able to amaze your future employer! Have any tips for interviewing over the phone or on Skype? Share them below?